I got introduced to slacklining in college. I would see college kids posted up between two trees doing their balancing act. I’ve always wanted to learn but never had the opportunity, but on that day I approached them and they were more than willing to help. If you ever feel afraid of approaching a group, don’t be. I find a lot of slackliners are very open to teaching beginners.
Here I have a quick and dirty beginner guide geared to those who have never stepped foot on a slackline. You aren’t going to be bouncing anytime soon, but you’ll have a few tips to get you started and not look like a complete newbie!
Slacklining is great for everyone. Even fit athletes will find their legs shaking trying to mount the slack line. It is great for balance, core strength and works on leg stabilizers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to get you NOT looking like a complete newbie.
Step by Step Guide
1. Take off your shoes/socks. Barefoot is preferable as your toes can provide extra dexterity on the line.
2. Start towards the ends of the slackline, not the middle. The middle is the hardest place to start as there is more sag.
3. Your first goal as a first timer is get one leg on the slackline and balance as long as possible. While it may seem easier to get two feet on, having one leg out helps you balance.
4. Stand parallel to the line, having the slackline next to your strong leg. Put your foot on the slackline.
5. Do not look at your leg. Look straight ahead at the anchor. Push down firmly on your leg and use your hands and leg to balance.
6. Congratulations! You probably were able to stand up for half a second. Keep practicing, trying to balance as long as you can. As you balance longer, feel free to put your second foot in front of you.
In this first session you probably won’t be able to walk on the slackline but it’s still a great accomplishment to end better than where you started. Go get ’em!